FREMONT FAQ July 2023
Many of you are aware of the current negotiations between the Fremont School District and the Sanborn Regional School District. We have heard chatter about the topic of Fremont students on social media and many community members have been having discussions. While negotiations are confidential by law, we want to inform you as much as possible at this time.
We know it’s frustrating to feel like you’re in the dark, especially on an issue as important as this one. But as a School Board and an Administration, we are united around the values of transparency and proactive communication with our communities. So we’re going to make sure you know everything we are legally allowed to share.
This document includes some information designed to support your awareness of the facts as we see them. We hope the FAQ below helps to support the community's understanding of this important topic. There is a lot more happening than what is shared in this brief document.
SRSD School Board and Administration
Q1: What’s happening with Fremont?
A: The current tuition agreement contract between the town of Fremont and Sanborn Regional School District expires at the conclusion of the 2025-2026 school year. In the Spring of 2023 the Fremont School department sent out Requests for Proposal (RFP) located here. In this context, an RFP is a formal request for school districts to send a confidential bid to provide high school services to the students of Fremont. Originally Sanborn, Pinkerton, and Raymond were the districts chosen by Fremont to send proposals in by the April 15th, 2023 deadline.
On July 27th, 2023 the Fremont School Board voted to consider an additional proposal from the Epping School District.
Q2: What steps have been taken so far?
A: The Sanborn School Board made a presentation to the Fremont School Board outlining the value we place on the long standing relationship between the three towns. The presentation not only placed emphasis on the relationships, but the opportunities and the success of our students here at Sanborn.
The Sanborn Regional School Board also submitted an official response to the RFP that focused on meeting the needs expressed in the RFP by the Fremont School Board. This RFP included a pricing structure that’s fair and equitable to all three communities. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a link to the response to the RFP because it is part of an active negotiation and sharing it is prohibited by law.
We have always worked collaboratively with the Fremont School Board and a number of years ago, the two boards negotiated an addendum to the contract to address a number of ambiguities.
- The addendum to the original agreement is located here.
- The original contract is located here.
Currently, the Sanborn Regional School Board is working collaboratively to support Fremont’s Board in making a decision via proactively and openly sharing information and answering any follow up questions they may have.
Q3: How and when will we know the outcome?
A: The process for choosing a high school for the Fremont students rests solely in the hands of the voters of Fremont. The rough timeline is as follows:
- The Fremont School Board will identify a school district of choice (in the fall of 2023)
- The Fremont School Board will present that choice to the Fremont voters
- The voters of Fremont will have the final decision (hopefully in March of 2024).
As we learn more about the timeline, we’ll continue to share as much as we are allowed to by law.
Q4: Do we want Fremont students to continue attending Sanborn RHS?
A: Absolutely. The Sanborn Regional School District School Board and Administration have been working tirelessly on one goal: keeping the Newton, Kingston, and Fremont family together.
We have been very transparent that we want the Fremont students to attend the Sanborn Regional High School and have made every effort possible to keep the three communities together, which has included presentations, extensive competitive research, and the development of materials intended to help the Fremont School Board as they navigate the RFP process. We know that it is challenging for the Sanborn community because they want to have a window into this process, but unfortunately it is confidential (by law). Please know that the SRSD School Board and Administration are working hard to support the three communities with the goal of keeping Fremont a part of our community. We are unanimously united in this goal.
Q5: What happens if Fremont chooses to leave Sanborn RHS?
A: Timing: If the Fremont School District chooses to leave the Sanborn Regional School district, it’s important to know that the change will be a “phase out process” and will take 6 years (concluding in 2029). This is because the freshman students currently enrolled in Sanborn Regional High School in 2025-2026 would stay at Sanborn until they complete their high school education in 2028-2029.
Impact to Sanborn:
While we’re doing as much as we can currently to anticipate and plan for the potential impact on the Newton and Kingston communities, we know that the process of managing such a significant transition would need to be done with extensive collaboration between all members of the Newton and Kingston communities. For now, we are focused on one goal: keeping Fremont a part of the Sanborn family.
Should Fremont choose to leave Sanborn, we would obviously need to make adjustments in staffing to accommodate the reduction of students. But overall, we are confident that we have options to help minimize the financial and/or other potential negative impacts to the district.
As just one example, it is important to remember that the bond payments for the high school will be done the same year Fremont students would begin to leave (should they decide to go), therefore offsetting the loss of tuition revenue. We will be sharing more information about possibilities (if they are needed) once ideas are more developed or are allowed to be shared by law. We want to be clear that the current SRSD School Board and Administration would prefer not to make any further changes to the Bakie and Memorial schools. Our goal would be to limit any impact to the high school level based on enrollments.
Q6: Why can’t you just show us the RFP and give us all the details?
A: This type of negotiation is strictly confidential by law.
The Sanborn Regional School District will continue to keep the community informed as soon as information is appropriate and legally shareable.
If you have any questions please contact Dawn Dutton, School Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
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